Earlier, I noted some of the difficulties that translators face when trying to render the ancient biblical texts in contemporary English for a modern audience. The biggest issue for the team reworking the NIV is how to handle the gender-bound language of the Bible's original context. Here's an articulate voice in favor of seeking gender neutral language -- to meet today's readers where they are.
I begin Bible Babel's chapter on translation by contemplating two quotes: this, from Miles Smith's preface to the first edition of the King James Version -- "translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light"; and the other from Umberto Eco -- "translation is the art of failure." Smith, with an optimistic tone; Eco pessimistic. And yet... No pithy statement here, but an invitation to consider the challenges of translation in the face of the very real fact that there is no perfect, once-and-for-all way to render the Bible into English.